Link building is key to increasing your website’s authority and pushing your site up the SERPs.
It can involve a lot of work, however there is plenty of link building software you can use to make the process easier for your link building team.
At our link building agency, we have used the following 16 link building tools to create effective campaigns.
These tools have helped with essential processes like:
- Reverse engineering website backlink profiles to find link building opportunities.
- Scraping the web for email addresses that we can use to contact editors.
- Sending effective outreach templates.
You can use these tools for all different types of link building campaigns.
Some of them help with guest posting, while others are best used for linkable asset campaigns. We’ve even included some tools that will improve your HARO hit rate.
These solutions have helped us get our clients thousands of links from sites including Hubspot, Capterra, Venngage, and more.
The Best Overall Software for Link Building
In our opinion, the four pieces of software below are the most effective for building links to your website.
Best for Outsourcing Links: LinkBuilder.io
Our link building dashboard is the easiest way for teams to outsource their link building efforts to a reliable 3rd party vendor. We’ve worked with household names around the World and SEO teams to trust us to build incredibly high-quality backlinks to turbocharge their content creation efforts.
If you’re serious about building links but don’t want the hassle of doing it in-house, then check out our free dashboard.
Best for Finding Link Building Opportunities: Ahrefs
Ahrefs is a complete SEO tool. It contains tons of features that help you find new link prospecting opportunities via in-depth competitor backlink analysis.
If you’re serious about building links, then Ahrefs is a must-have tool.
Best For Finding Emails: Hunter.io
Hunter.io makes it incredibly easy to find email addresses at scale. The contact details it provides are highly accurate.
The software is a huge time saver if you run large outreach campaigns which makes it an essential tool in our book.
Best Tool for Email Outreach: Respona
Respona is an incredible relationship-based email outreach software which helps automate your link building process from end to end.
In particular, they have the best tools on the market to help you prospect and find the right people to outreach.
Table - Which Software is Right for Me?
There's different strokes for different folks. The table below should help point you in the right direction,depending on what you're looking to achieve.
|Tool||Competitor Analysis||Email Outreach||Finding Emails||Guest Posting||Finding Broken Links||Disavowing Links||Digital PR||Unlinked Mentions|
|Linkbuilder Search Results Scraper||✔️||✔️|
|Check My Links||✔️|
16 Best Link Building Software Providers
Now it's time to get into each piece of software in detail...
Respona is an all-in-one blogger outreach platform outfitted with all of the necessary tools to set up and launch an email campaign of any kind, be it for link building, digital PR, marketing, or even sales.
It’s integrated with Google’s search engine for streamlined prospecting, and pulls metrics like Domain Rating and Ahrefs Rank directly from Ahrefs.
An easy-to-use email finder is also included, making it extremely easy to find the right person’s contact information without having to rely on any other tools.
Respona’s intuitive interface guides you through every step of creating and launching your outreach campaigns, keeps track of your performance, and also the status of your conversations with each prospect.
The tool will be especially useful to link builders, as it was initially used to help Visme scale their link building outreach efforts, helping the website gain over 2 million organic visitors a month.
Automated email outreach
Great for prospecting and finding contact information
Built-in analytics and reporting
2) SE Ranking
If you need an all-in-one tool with a powerful backlink analysis feature, SE Ranking will enable you to learn about the quality of your backlink profile or that of a competitor's.
Just insert the domain you want to research, and you will see its Domain and Page Trust – proprietary metrics of the company that predict whether the domain is eligible for a high ranking. Besides, you can check the dynamics of new and lost backlinks and referring domains, as well as the dofollow/nofollow ratio for all the links the algorithm finds for the page.
Furthermore, the tool allows you to track the regions where your pages are referred to the most. Anchor text distribution data is also available and conveniently visualized.
When it comes to competitor research, the Backlink Gap Analyzer by SE Ranking will compare your domain with up to 5 competitors. You can see where they have backlinks, and you don’t, and plan your future outreach strategy accordingly.
In addition, it’s worth mentioning the attractive SE Ranking tool pricing. This all-in-one SEO helper costs only $39 per month, and you can save 20% by paying annually.
3) Ahrefs: Our Favorite Tool for Finding New Opportunities
Ahrefs is an incredible all-round SEO tool with a ton of great features for finding link building opportunities.
Here are three that stand out:
- You can see which pages on a competitor’s website attract the most links. Use this information to create the type of content people love linking to.
- You can view backlinks by page or domain to see which sites are linking to your competitors. This can show good outreach opportunities.
- The Link Intersect tool shows which websites are linking to multiple competitors but not you. This is another way to highlight potential outreach opportunities.
The image below shows some of the most linked-to pages on Neil Patel’s website. A marketing-focused website could consider creating similar content to attract backlinks.
You can even use Ahrefs to see which websites are linking to certain pieces of content.
Approaching these sites could be a good way to get backlinks. The image below shows some of the sites linking to the SEO Made Simple 2020 guide.
The main disadvantage of Ahrefs is that its price, starting at $99, puts it out of reach for some SEO beginners (although there is a $7 free trial that gives full use of the software for seven days).
For everyone else, it is a worthwhile investment.
4) Hunter.io: Best for Finding Emails
Once you have a list of backlink opportunities from Ahrefs, you need to contact people at the publications. This could be done manually, but if you have a long list of targets you’ll want to automate the process.
This is where Hunter.io comes in.
This tool automatically scrapes the web for the contact details of websites or professionals in seconds. Just upload a list of sites and you’re ready to go.
While you won’t get email addresses for every website, the tool has a high success rate because it uses multiple sources.
Hunter.io comes into its own due to the email verifier feature. This confirms that the email address pulled by the software is accurate.
The site also highlights the sources it uses to find email addresses so that you can perform your own checks.
Once you have a list, export them in CSV format to use it with other tools.
Hunter.io has a free plan that gives you 50 searches per month. This may be enough for smaller outreach campaigns and is a great way to try out the software.
Larger companies that perform a lot of outreach will have to pay for plans — these range from $49 per month to $399.
5) Pitchbox: Best Link Building Tool for Outreach
Once you have email addresses for contacts at websites, it’s time to connect. If you just have a handful of targets, you could do this manually without much bother.
For larger-scale campaigns, automating the process will save you a lot of time. It’s perfect for Skyscraper 2.0, guest posting, and link building campaigns.
We use Pitchbox to automate outreach.
This link building tool lets you find targets and then create large-scale personalised campaigns from template emails.
There are several reasons why we recommend Pitchbox:
- The UX makes it easy to create and send campaigns.
- You can schedule follow up emails at predefined intervals.
- You can easily see SEO metrics associated with websites in your list (see image below).
- You can respond to opportunities from within Pitchbox.
- The opportunity pipeline is an excellent way to get an overview of your outreach campaign.
All this makes Pitchbox an effective and easy-to-use tool for link building outreach.
Additionally, Pitchbox provides every single search metric under the sun, pulling them in from all of the other major software providers (Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic etc.)
The major downside is that the service isn’t cheap. You have to contact the company for pricing via its website.
If you want to find out more about our complete link prospecting process, including how we use Pitchbox, check out this blogpost.
6) Majestic SEO: Best for Alternative Data
Where Ahrefs is an all-round SEO powerhouse, Majestic is more focused on backlinks.
While it doesn’t have the sheer quantity of features that Ahrefs does, it provides some useful link building metrics that Ahrefs doesn’t.
Here are three of the most useful ones:
- Trust Flow is a number out of 100 that represents the quality of the links pointing to a website.
- Citation Flow measures the number of links. Using these scores together is a great way to spot spammy websites that you may want to avoid getting a link from.
- Topical Trust Flow shows a website’s rank across different categories. This is a useful metric to use when searching for relevant link building opportunities.
Perhaps the best thing about Majestic SEO is its price. A base subscription is just $49, which is half the price of the cheapest Ahrefs plan.
Mailshake simplifies outreach campaigns by helping users send mass personalized emails. You can then send follow-up sequences based on interaction.
This can save a ton of time. Trust us, as a link building service, we know the efficiency benefits of automated campaigns.
One way Mailshake stands out is by offering pre-made templates for use in different types of link building campaigns. There are optimized emails available for:
- Broken link building.
- Guest posting.
- Link requests.
- PR pitches.
- Content promotion.
- And more.
Mailshake has plenty of uses beyond link building.
Features such as the virtual phone dialer make it great for sales outreach. If you also deal with sales at your company, trying Mailshake is a no-brainer.
The software will also analyze your email copy to help improve engagement and deliverability. You can try this out via the free tool on the Mailshake website.
Mailshake is also simple to get to grips with. The interface is user-friendly and you can easily upload all your contacts from a spreadsheet.
The tool starts at $59 per user per month, which is affordable if you do a lot of link building outreach. However, you’ll have to pay more for some of the advanced features like the phone dialer.
Buzzstream is link building software that helps with outreach. It's similar to Pitchbox, but not quite as expensive (or powerful).
The first thing it does is help you find email addresses. You can search from within the platform to find contact details for relevant sites.
Or you can upload a CSV file with a list of websites in your niche — like the one produced by our tool above — and the software will automatically find contact information.
You then send email campaigns from within the dashboard and there are templates you can use to help. You can also schedule automatic follow-ups to improve your campaign’s efficiency.
We especially like Buzzstream’s in-depth reporting features. The tool uses data from around the web to provide information such as:
- The Domain Authority (DA) of the websites you are contacting.
- The number of followers a site has.
- Whether the site has promoted your website in the past.
- Whether your team has had previous contact with anyone at the site.
This allows you to create high priority segments of outreach targets based on metrics such as the quality of the website or the likeliness of them giving you a link. This ensures you don’t waste time on contacts that are unlikely to result in a link.
Just choose the most relevant metrics.
- Segment one: Websites with a DA of over 60 that someone on your team has had previous contact with.
- Segment two: Websites with a DA of 50 plus that have previously placed one of your posts.
Pricing is another benefit of Buzzstream.
The most basic plan starts at just $24 per month, making it an affordable option for small businesses. Plans go up to $299 per month for six users.
HARO is a platform that connects journalists with sources. It is an essential part of any link building campaign because you typically get a backlink when a writer chooses you as a source.
Journalists from many DR 80+ websites use HARO, which makes it a great way to attract high authority links — if you have a good strategy.
To start building links with HARO, head to the website, sign up as a source, and choose your areas of expertise.
HARO will then send you daily emails with relevant requests. Just search through the emails to find requests you are well-positioned to answer. Each request contains a summary of the story and further instructions.
You can see an example in the screenshot below.
The downside to HARO is that website owners know it is a great way to get links, which means competition can be intense. That’s why you must know the key to a good response. This includes:
- Replying fast: Journalists are typically in a hurry; you want to be one of the first responses they read.
- Keep responses concise: Only include the most essential details.
- Be quotable. You need to write in a way that makes it easy for the journalist to add your response to their article.
A great thing about HARO is that it’s free to sign up as a source. As long as you have the time to craft quality responses, it’s a great way to get links.
If you don’t have the time, you could always try out our HARO link building service.
Several other platforms offer similar services to HARO:
- ResponseSource is a UK based media requests platform.
- SourceBottle is another similar service that helps sources connect with journalists. Businesses can create an expert profile for $25 per month which SourceBottle will promote to journalists looking for sources.
- Qwoted provides experts and PR professionals with access to journalists and source requests. It includes more advanced features than HARO, such as in-app messaging and the ability to see how many responses a request has.
MOZ is a tool with features that cover many aspects of SEO — from keyword research to competitor analysis, and more.
The most useful tool for link building is its Link Explorer. This shows you which sites link to a domain or URL. You also get access to other important metrics such as keywords and Domain Authority.
Use this information to reverse engineer your competitor’s backlink profile. Consider reaching out to the sites that link to your competitors to see if they will also link to you.
Another cool feature is the Spam Score.
If you’re worried about your own site’s backlink profile, put your URL into the Link Explorer to see whether you have too many low-quality links.
If you do, consider telling Google to ignore the links to reduce your chances of being penalized by the algorithm. We go into further detail about how to do this in the section below.
Moz also has a ton of other cool SEO features, including a Link Intersect tool similar to the one offered by Ahrefs. This lets you see which domains link to competitors but not your site.
Pricing starts at $99 per month, making it premium link building software. You can use limited versions of many of the tools for free if you sign up, and Moz also offers a generous 30-day trial so you can test out the software.
11) Google Disavow Links Tool
Your link building strategy should include an element of link management. This is to ensure that your site isn’t attracting too many spammy links.
There are many reasons why your site may have spammy links. For example:
- If you built your site on a domain that was previously used for another website it may still have low-quality links pointing to it.
- A competitor may have directed spammy links to your site to trick Google into giving you a penalty.
- You may have used a poor quality link building agency and now you want to remove the links they built.
- If you previously dabbled in black hat link building but have decided to clean up your link profile.
Whatever your reason, you may benefit from telling Google to ignore these links.
Doing so is easy. Just upload a CSV file with a list of domains you want to ignore to the disavow links tool.
Google will typically process your link removal request within a few weeks.
To do this, you’ll need to find out which sites are linking to you. Get this information by heading to Google Search Console, clicking “Links,” then “External links.”
From here, you can see a file with all the domains that link to your site. Choose the domains you want to disavow, and then create a CSV document with these URLs.
An easier option is to use a tool such as SEM Rush (more on that below) to analyze your link profile and spot low-quality links. The tool will then help you create a CSV file that you can upload to Google.
Be aware that disavowing links is an advanced SEO practice. If Google’s algorithm hasn’t yet flagged the links as spammy, you may even see a reduction in your rankings by doing it.
You should only use this tactic if you are sure the links are likely to affect your site negatively.
SEMrush is an all-inclusive SEO tool with features similar to Ahrefs and Moz, as well as plenty of unique tools.
These include advanced features relevant to building links, such as:
- Backlink Analytics: This lets you compare your backlink profile to your competitors to spot new outreach targets.
- Link Building Tool: This collects link building opportunities for your website. You can then create templates and send emails from within the software.
- Backlink Audit: This tool analyzes your backlink profile and alerts you to links that may harm your site. You can then send emails to site owners asking them to remove the links from within the tool, or create a disavow file to send to Google.
We like how SEMrush has an integrated email outreach tool. This is especially useful if you don’t have access to dedicated software like Mailshake or Pitchbox.
SEMrush also has strong keyword research capabilities that can help with SEO and paid ads.
Pricing starts at $99.95 per month and goes up to $399 for the all-inclusive plan. You can grab a free seven-day trial to test out the service’s functionality.
13) Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a super useful tool for a very specific type of link building: namely, unlinked mentions.
This is a strategy whereby you find websites that have written about your brand but not provided a link.
If you spot when this happens, you can reach out to the website owner and ask them to link to your site. They will often be willing to do so.
It’s a simple form of link prospecting. The hard part is finding a way to discover unlinked mentions quickly.
This is where Google Alerts comes in. Just head to the page and set up an alert for your brand name.
Whenever someone mentions your company, Google will send you an email. You can then check the webpage to see if it links to your site. If it doesn’t, just reach out to the editor asking for a link.
You can also set up alerts for your competitors or even your product category.
Setting up alerts for competitors can help you spot sites that may also be willing to link to you, while product alerts can highlight websites that cover your niche.
This is especially useful if you work in a relatively small industry and you want to build relationships with those who cover it.
Creating Google Alerts is free and easy to do. You can even customize the alerts based on language, region, and how often you want to receive emails.
If your brand is well known and receives a lot of mentions, you can tell Google to show you only the best results.
Ahrefs’ premium plan has a similar alerts feature. If you are a subscriber, you can use it either alongside or instead of Google’s tool.
14) Check My Links
Check My Links is one of the best link building tools to help you find broken links.
This involves searching for broken links on relevant domains and asking the site owner to replace the dead link with one to a similar page on your site.
You can use this strategy to build links to any type of page. Although, we find it works best with resources such as tools or statistics pages.
Site owners typically link to tools when they are useful to readers and so broken links can negatively affect the experience of using the site.
Meanwhile, statistics pages are often referenced to give an article authority. If the link is broken, people may be less likely to trust the statistic.
While the strategy is simple, actually finding a link that’s broken isn’t.
That’s where Check My Links comes in handy.
The tool is a browser add on for Chrome. Just head to the Chrome Store page to install it. Once you add Check My Links to your browser, head to the page you want to check and click on the icon.
The tool will then start checking all the links on a page. It will highlight broken links in red and good links in green.
To be honest, it doesn’t have much use beyond finding broken links on a page, but it does a great job at it.
It’s also completely free and very easy to use. If you want to use a broken link building campaign in your strategy, then give Check My Links a look.
All the link building tools we’ve featured so far help you improve your backlink profile. But you also need a way to track your efforts. Linkody is a great way to do that, and it's one of the leading backlink monitoring tools.
The software provides transparency over the results of your link building campaign. It keeps track of crucial metrics such as:
- Spam score.
- Link anchor text.
- Page authority.
You can create reports showing each of these details.
The benefit of this is that you can check what is working and make adjustments to the things that aren’t.
You can also ensure that your link building efforts appear natural and aren’t increasing your spam score.
The tool also has plenty of regular link building features.
For example, you can easily discover which domains are linking to a website. Use this to check out competing sites. You can even set up alerts that will tell you as soon as the software notices a competitor has a new link.
Linkody will also help you create a disavow file that you can upload to Google to avoid penalties due to spammy links.
Perhaps the biggest reason to get Linkody is its price.
The cheapest plan starts at just $14.90 per month ($11.20 if you sign up for a year) and it allows you to monitor two domains.
This price is much cheaper than the likes of Ahrefs and Moz, meaning the tool is a great option if your budget won’t stretch to these premium link building tools.
You can even sign up to a generous 30-day free trial to test out the software.
16) Monitor Backlinks
Monitor Backlinks is a software suite that does exactly what it says on the tin: it monitors your website’s (and your competitors’) backlinks.
This means it shares many features of other link building tools on the list. For example, you can see who is linking to you and your competitors and disavow spammy links.
One feature we particularly like is the lost link checker. This alerts you as soon as a site removes a link to your website.
You can use this to ensure that you keep all links you pay for. Or, in the case of organic links, you could contact the webmaster to see if there was a reason they stopped pointing to your site.
The tool also tracks your keyword rankings to help you measure your campaign.
While Monitor Backlinks doesn’t have as many link building features as the likes of Moz and Ahrefs, it is much cheaper, and some people may prefer its simplicity.
Pricing starts at $25 per month to monitor your domain and two of your competitors.
Link Building Software Makes Your Campaign More Efficient
Link building tools are exceptionally useful when it comes to creating effective campaigns. At Linkbuilder we use many of these tools day-to-day as part of an effective link building machine.
Of course, with access to the best link building software, you still need to put a lot of effort into your campaign. Think of them more as a way to work effectively, rather than a way to not have to work.
If you’d rather a more hands-off approach, then you’ll need a link building agency.
At Linkbuilder we provide a variety of link building services that get you links you need to build your site. Reach out to us via our contact page to see how we can help.